PDA

View Full Version : vintage baushka mandolin



rockabillyrebel
May-01-2009, 3:11pm
Hello Fellow Musicians,
I have a vintage Baushka Mandolin that was passed down to me and I know a little bit of the history but still have many more details on this particular instrument that I would love to know about, I'm sure that it's worth a pretty penny but was hoping to learn more about it, If anyone knows anything about this mandolin please let me know. Thank you for your time and interest.

MikeEdgerton
May-01-2009, 5:11pm
Tell us the history you know of.

MikeEdgerton
May-01-2009, 5:25pm
I'm not sure of what this is now. I'm assuming it was imported and from the 80's or so. There is however an instrument in the Dopyera Collection at Elderly that has this label, or a similar label. It is from 1973 and is more like a balalaika than a mandolin. That instrument is here (http://www.elderly.com/articles/dopyera/200u-653.html). It has a zero fret. Every thing about this looks imported to me including the case. With that said I doubt yours is any older than the 70's.

mrmando
May-01-2009, 7:54pm
Judging from the number of features it has in common with the Dopyera instrument (Baushka decal, custom engraved coverplate, zero fret, unusual bridge cover, etc.), my first guess is that Rudy Dopyera made this mandolin as well. I wonder who Dina was?

allenhopkins
May-01-2009, 8:31pm
Concur w/mrmando. The stars-and-crescents coverplate is identical to the one on my late '30's Dobro mandolin, other than a slightly different shape for the raised plate over the bridge, and the custom engraving. The body shape and the screen holes are also the same. Headstock shape differs -- mine's slightly concave on the end -- but is similar.

Since it would seem a bit unlikely that a foreign builder would do such an exact copy of a Dobro mandolin on a one-of basis, and put the unusual triangular baby-in-the-crib logo on the headstock -- and since a similarly-marked resonator instrument exists purportedly built by R Dopyera -- I vote that this is a special "presentation" instrument (to "Dina") made by him.

MikeEdgerton
May-01-2009, 9:14pm
I'm not ready to go that far yet. In another thread another member said he had an identical one in the 80's.

mrmando
May-02-2009, 9:35am
Yes, and he also said this one was probably by Regal, which is a doubtful proposition at best. I'd question how identical his instrument actually was.

MikeEdgerton
May-02-2009, 9:40am
I would be more inclined to think that Rudy was doing consulting for manufacturers other than developing his own brand new line with nothing that ties him to the brand name other than one instrument that was in his personal collection and not available to the world. If it wasn't for that one instrument you wouldn't find any mention of this brand anywhere. If Elderly didn't have the collection Rudy might not even enter into the equation. That doesn't mean Rudy didn't build it, it just means that he might not have. If the other member wasn't schooled on brand names and where they came from he might guess Regal and even spell it right.

Charles E.
May-02-2009, 1:30pm
Mike, guilty as charged! I am not an expert in the companies that made instruments under the Dobro name and I tend to be ' spelling challenged ' :redface:. Upon closer examination, the similarities to mine were the stars and crescant cover plate and the tobacco finish. Mine had a more squared off head stock and no engraving. sorry for the confusion.

allenhopkins
May-02-2009, 3:10pm
Rank speculation: the "Lullabyka" instrument Elderly depicts, sort of a resophonic balalaika, was apparently put together by Rudy Dopyera as a presentation instrument for Pres. Nixon. It also has a zero fret, common in European instruments, but not generally a feature of American Dobro Co. construction. It has the baby-in-the-crib medallion on the headstock. The mandolin in question is (a) a presentation instrument, with flowers and the name "Dina" engraved (b)equipped with a zero fret and the baby-in-the-crib medallion (c) in other respects, remarkably similar to the resophonic mandolins sold by Dobro and Regal -- probably with bodies built by Regal and resonator hardware from Dobro.

No way to be completely certain, but to me the evidence points toward another Dopyera presentation piece.

mrmando
May-02-2009, 5:02pm
I would be more inclined to think that Rudy was doing consulting for manufacturers other than developing his own brand new line with nothing that ties him to the brand name other than one instrument that was in his personal collection and not available to the world.

It's a known fact that Rudy continued to build instruments throughout his life, and he certainly didn't keep all of them for the private collection. Decals with the names "Troika" (another balalaika) and "Safari" (another mandolin) also appear on instruments in the private collection; it's possible that Rudy understood "brand identity" in somewhat different terms than you or I might. The Safari mandolin (http://elderly.com/articles/dopyera/90u-4103.html) is worth a look; it too has a zero fret and a custom-engraved cover plate, as does the Troika balalaika. So in fact there are three instruments in the collection, all known to have been built by Rudy, that have features in common with the Baushka mando. (Furthermore, Elderly's Web copy alludes to the existence of a second Safari mandolin that's not in the collection.)

On the four instruments for which we have photographs, the most unusual common feature is the long bridge cover, which spans nearly the entire diameter of the cover plate and is drilled for two rivets on the bass end and only one on the treble end. It's identical in shape on all four instruments, although plating & engraving may be different. I have never seen a bridge cover even remotely resembling it on a resophonic by any other maker.

The OP said he knew some of the history of the Dina mandolin, and I'm dying to hear more about that.

jeff mercer
May-02-2009, 9:06pm
Are there actually any "Import" companies making wood-bodied resonator mandolins..seems to be plenty of import National-style metal bodies available, but I can't recall ever seeing an import Dobro-style wood body.

Appears to be the same case with modern import resonator ukes..plenty of National-style metal bodies to choose from with varying degrees of quality & price, but never seen a Dobro-style wood body uke..

I'd throw my hand in with Martin & Allen..looks the real deal to me.
:popcorn:

Hope you'll get back to us, RockabillyRebel..any info re; provenence would help a lot.

Cheers,
Jeff.

jeff mercer
May-02-2009, 9:09pm
Oops, that should've been never seen an "import" Dobro-style wood body uke !

MikeEdgerton
May-02-2009, 10:48pm
...put together by Rudy Dopyera as a presentation instrument for Pres. Nixon....

I think you'll find it was dedicated to Pat Nixon, the First Lady. It obviously was never given to her.

mrmando
May-02-2009, 10:53pm
Are there actually any "Import" companies making wood-bodied resonator mandolins..
Del Vecchio, but those look nothing like National or Dobro instruments.


I think you'll find it was dedicated to Pat Nixon, the First Lady. It obviously was never given to her.
Who knows? Maybe she sent it back!

jeff mercer
May-03-2009, 12:42am
Martin,

Probably did'nt explain that very well..I was interested to see Mike Edgertons' first posts, wherein he thought it was an "import" mandolin, i.e Pac-Rim..

Hopefully understood that correctly, Mike :)

Just making the point that "Modern" resonator mandolins & ukuleles all seem to be steel bodies..no wood bodies I can recall seeing.

Speaking of which, Del Vecchio resonator instruments have been around since at least the 50's, if not earlier than that, so they were not what I meant by "modern" ( I should've typed "current").

The O.P is conspicious by their absence..:whistling:

You there, RockabillyRebel ??